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Where to Go Hiking, Biking and Birdwatching in Ontario

Breathe in that crisp autumn air as you explore Ontario’s many trails for hiking, biking and birdwatching

Two people walking through a worn down path of fallen leaves. They are each wearing backpacks, walking next to each other along a trail with trees on both sides with leaves that are bright yellow.

Fall is such a great time to enjoy the outdoors. The temperatures are pleasantly cooler and there are barely any bugs. With 71 million hectares of forest, Ontario features lots of great trails for just about any kind of active outdoor day trip. Luckily, it’s easy to match your interests with the right trail. Here’s a sampling.

For birdwatching

A little bird with a black head and a brown body and wings and a white bely is perched on a wooden stand with a photo and some writing on it, outlining information about the area.

Canada’s South Coast Birding Trail connects 17 Southern Ontario birding hot spots between Lake Huron and Lake Erie. Perhaps the most popular, Point Pelee National Park leads you to the southernmost edge of Canada. During the fall migration, it’s a good spot from which to view pelagic species of birds—those that spend time over open water—like jaegers and kittiwakes.

For cycling

A row of cyclists, one behind the other, are riding their bikes wearing helmets on a boardwalk next to some water. Behind them, the trees are changing colours into shades of orange and yellow.

With its 1,500 lakes, Algonquin Provincial Park is well known to paddlers, but the park has plenty to offer cyclists, too. The Old Railway Bike Trail is a 32-kilometre out-and-back trail through the forest on a decommissioned railbed. It’s accessible from five of the park’s campgrounds and perfect for families. You can also take in the incredible fall colours: the oranges and reds of sugar maples and the yellows of birch, aspen and tamarack trees.

For a short hike

An older man wearing a khaki hat and a brown coat with a hood is standing at the edge of a rock with two young kids next to him. There is a little girl in front wearing a dark pink hoodie and light green leggings. There is a taller girl behind her wearing a long blue coat and grey pangs. They are all looking down at the trees below them.

The five-kilometre trail at CliffLAND takes you to Blueberry Mountain, known for its range of beautiful habitats and named one of the seven wonders of Lanark County. Located southwest of Ottawa, it’s part of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust, which features three other public properties for hiking.

For a longer hike

A bird's eye view of three hikers standing at a lookout point looking down at the trees below them, which are bright shades of yellow, orange and dark green.

Lake Superior Provincial Park offers several trail options for experienced hikers, including the demanding 10-kilometre Awausee route, which leads to views of the Agawa Valley’s fall display and Lake Superior. For an overnight stay, there’s the 24-kilometre Towab trail. Named after an Ojibwa guide who led tours at the turn of the century, this rugged route for advanced hikers leads to Agawa Falls.

For mountain biking

A person wearing a bright blue jacket and a helmet on their mountain bike in the middle of a trail going over some tree branches.

Located in the Blue Mountains, about 20 kilometres southwest of Collingwood, the Kolapore Uplands include about 50 kilometres of marked trails for cross-country skiing in winter and mountain biking for experienced riders in the summer and fall. Consider purchasing a map from the Kolapore Wilderness Trails Association to find your way around this complex network.

Help from CAA

Looking for more inspiration? Find cycling routes and trail details at cycling trips. And for any two-wheeled trouble when you’re out on the road, contact CAA Bike AssistTM. Plus, don’t forget to download the CAA Mobile AppTM. You can use it to find Rewards offers along the way and contact roadside assistance if you run into any trouble.

Image credit: Muskoka Tourism, Ontario’s Southwest, Tania Marsh, Pat & Chuck Blackley/Alamy, Paulo LaBerge